Athlete Learning in Elite Sport : A Cultural Framework book cover
1st Edition

Athlete Learning in Elite Sport
A Cultural Framework

ISBN 9780367661472
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

Elite athletes lead a particular way of life, which creates significant learning and shapes their selves. This is the first sociological-pedagogical text to conceptualise athlete learning in elite sport and across athletic careers. It outlines theories of learning and argues for a cultural perspective capturing contextual influence, temporal changes, individual dispositions, and subjectivity.

Presented in three parts—landscaping elite sport and theorising athlete learning; showcasing athletes’ learning in elite sport; and informing research and practice—the book features nine international, multi-contextual, and multi-experience case studies of athlete careers, experiences, and learning across individual and team sports such as boxing, rugby, basketball, hockey, and gymnastics.

This is fascinating reading for students, researchers, and practitioners in sport organisations, sports coaching, coach education, and sport sociology and pedagogy.

Table of Contents

Introduction,  Part I: Landscaping Elite Sport and Theorising Athlete Learning,  1. Contemporary Elite Sport Landscape,  2. Existing Theories of Learning,  3. Cultural Perspective of Learning,  Part II: Showcasing Athletes’ Learning in Elite Sport,  4. Maintaining a dual career horizon in women’s artistic gymnastics: A case of a female gymnast,  5. Learning through boxing: A case of a male boxer,  6. Learning through a semi-professional career and deselection: A case of a male ice hockey player,  7. Career learning in youth elite biathlon: A case of a male biathlete,  8. Learning through rugby, migration and a professional career: A case of a male rugby player,  9. Aging in professional sport: A case of a professional male basketball player,  10. The implications of sport attire and culture on Muslim women’s participation in elite boxing: A case of a female boxer,  11. The experience of an international female rugby player,  12. An auto-ethnographic account of one athlete’s journey to reconciling gender diversity through elite boxing: A case of a gender non-binary boxer,  Part III: Informing Research and Practice,  13. Insights and Implications for Research and Practice,  14. Final Reflections

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Natalie Barker-Ruchti is Associate Professor at the School of Health Sciences, Division of Sport, University of Örebro, Sweden. Prior to this appointment, and during the time of writing this book, Natalie was Associate Professor at the Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science at the University of Gothenburg. Her research focuses on coaches and coaching and on athletes and athlete learning. Examining specific elite sport contexts, coaching practices, and athletes’ experiences, Natalie’s research offers insight into the influence sport and coaches have on athletes’ performance, selves, and lives.


"An important contribution to the literature on sports coaching and athlete development … I believe that the book is useful at all levels of study, from undergrad to postgrad, as well as to researchers wanting to expand their horizons as far as understanding athlete development in elite sports. As such, the book has the potential to inform and advance both research and practice in sports coaching and athlete development." – Christian Thue Bjørndal, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Sports Coaching Review

"Athlete Learning in Elite Sport: A Cultural Framework is a significant contribution to the sport coaching literature, providing an important balance between academic and practitioner insight. This balance ensures the book is accessible for a wide audience but also represents the sport coaching context in an authentic way." – Benjamin Moreland, University of Gloucestershire,